Exercise - Participate in an event


The first step in networking is to attend functions and events within your sphere of interest. This exercise provides several ideas for how to sign up for and attend tech events, and how to approach meeting and interacting with people who might be influential in helping you land the internship or job you're seeking.

Step 1: Sign up for a user group

Start by discovering where to meet people. Within the broad area of technology, you'll find numerous user groups, organizations whose members share a common interest in specific technologies. For example, you might want to join a group on JavaScript or Vue.js.

To get started, do the following:

  1. Find user groups in your area by going to, for example, Meetup.

  2. Join as a member of one or more groups.

    By becoming a group member, you'll be notified about upcoming events that you can sign up for and participate in.

Step 2: Choose an event to attend

Most user groups meet with a monthly cadence. By attending events, you'll begin to meet and get to know both peers with similar interests and recruiters and other company representatives.

Your goal in participating in such events should be to establish personal connections. Practically everyone you meet will have something valuable to offer, and you'll always learn something new.

Someone you meet might be a recruiter, a hiring manager, or a future colleague. The person might even ask you to submit your resume or take your contact information and offer to keep you updated on future opportunities.

To get started, complete this exercise:

  1. Sign up for an event. An example might be a JavaScript event on the 15th of the month.

    An event usually consists of one or more speakers or activities, and you'll usually get one or more breaks during that time. Those breaks are your chance to meet people of interest.

  2. Set a goal to meet and converse with at least three different people at the event.


    At the event, it's a good idea to seek out and introduce yourself to the event organizer. That person is likely to be influential and can in turn introduce you to other group members. The organizer might even represent a company that's looking to hire people, so be sure to bring several copies of your resume.

What to say to the people you meet

So now you're signed up for an event, armed with a plan to speak to many people. But what do you say? If you're like most people, it can be a challenge to simply go up and talk to someone you've never met.

Here's a simple starter list of questions you can use:

  • What did you think of tonight's session or speaker?
  • What did you find interesting/exciting/surprising/useful about tonight's talk?
  • How long have you used/been interested in this technology?
  • Where do you work/what's your role there/for how long/what's interesting about it?

It's a good idea to write down in advance any questions you think you might have for the people you'll be meeting. Remember, the important thing about networking is to develop new connections—and to practice your new networking skills!

Be transparent. At some point in your conversations, whether you're looking for a job, a consultancy contract, or an internship, say so. Your openness could open up some exciting opportunities.

Here's an example interaction:

You: What did you think of tonight's talk?

New person: Interesting, learned some new things.

You: Have you used this tech before?

New person: No, but eager to try it out.